The De spectaculis and De idololatria show that Tertullian was already in a certain sense a Montanist before he formally went over to that creed; on the other hand, his De poenitentia proves that his earlier views on church discipline were much more tolerant than his later.
This is an arrangement recommended by one who has tried it, and he reassures the old-fashioned believer who clings to the less formal regime (and whose protest was voiced in the Montanist movement), that there will be no spiritual loss under the new system.
The objections of the Alogi were restated and maintained by the Roman presbyter Caius in his controversy with the Montanist Proclus (Eus.
As for his theology, its leading factors were - (i.) the teachings of the apologists; (ii.) the philosophy of the Stoics; (iii.) the rule of faith, interpreted in an anti-Gnostic sense, as he had received it from the Church of Rome; (iv.) the Soteriological theology of Melito and Irenaeus; (v.) the substance of the utterances of the Montanist prophets (in the closing decades of his life).
On his breach with the Catholic church, probably in 207-208, he became the head of a small Montanist community in Carthage.
In the Montanist churches women baptized, and of this there are traces in the earliest church and in the Caucasus.
Thus, for example, the anti-secular tendencies of the new creed, to which Tertullian (160-220) gave violent and rigid expression, were exaggerated in the Montanist heresy which he ultimately joined; on the other hand, Clement of Alexandria, in opposition to the general tone of his age, maintained the value of pagan philosophy for the development of Christian faith into true knowledge (Gnosis), and the value of the natural development of man through marriage for the normal perfecting of the Christian life.
It was his desire to unite the enthusiasm cf primitive Christianity with intelligent thought, the original demands of the Gospel with every letter of the Scriptures and with the practice of the Roman church, the sayings of the Paraclete with the authority of the bishops, the law of the churches with the freedom of the inspired, the rigid discipline of the Montanist with all the utterances of the New Testament and with the arrangements of a church seeking to set itself up within the world.
It faded away in the great Church, and probably Celsus was describing Montanist circles (though Origen assumed that they were ordinary believers) when he wrote 3 of the many Christians of no repute who at the least provocation, whether within or without their temples, threw themselves about like inspired persons; while others did the same in cities or among armies in order to collect alms, roaming about cities or camps.
The founder of this school of interpretation was Ticonius the Montanist (floruit A.D.